Half of NL residents think eating meat everyday is a thing of the past

Almost 60 percent of Netherlands residents consider themselves a meat eater, but just as large a group are aware of meat's impact on the climate and think that eating less meat will become the norm. Almost half agree with the statement that "eating meat everyday is no longer of this time", according to a study by Kien commissioned by environmental organization Natuur & Milieu, AD reports. 

Of the over 1 thousand people surveyed, 37 percent said they eat vegetarian one or more days a week. 2 percent are vegetarian, 2 percent are pescotarians who eat no meat but still eat fish, and less than 1 percent are vegan. 

A previous study by Wageningen University showed that the average resident of the Netherlands eats around 40 kilograms of meat per year. Meat consumption is still at about the same level as in 2005. Natuur & Milieu also does not see a decrease, but says that this study "gives good hope for a change". 

Meat production is hard on the environment. Cows emit greenhouse gas methane, and the soy grown for animal feed takes up a lot of land. According to environmental organization Milieu Centraal, about 5 kilograms of vegetable feed is needed to produce one kilogram of meat. The production of 1 kilogram of steak causes over 57.9 kilograms of CO2 emissions, while the same quantity of tofu releases 5.8 kilos of CO2, according to NOS. A kilo of chicken - the least polluting meat - produces 13.4 kilograms of CO2, while a kilo of the average vegetarian burger produces only 4.1 kilos of CO2. 

The average person in the Netherlands eats meat with their biggest meal of the day four to five days a week, fish on one day, and vegetarian on one day, according to the Kien researchers. When eating out, most people always eat a dish with meat or fish Half of the respondents who sometimes opt for vegetarian called vegetarian options in the hospitality industry too sparse. 

While the majority of respondents understand that meat production has harmful effects on the environment, only a third think that this damage should be included int he price. Around 30 percent said meat is already too expensive in the Netherlands, and 21 percent said it is too cheap. Men are still bigger meat eaters than women.